Blog post: Shopping experiences on cloud nine: 3 prerequisites for retail success powered by commercetools and AWS

Shopping experiences on cloud nine: 3 prerequisites for retail success powered by commercetools and AWS

Manuela Tchoe
Manuela Tchoe
Senior Content Writer, commercetools
Published 18 October 2022

Successful brands leverage the cloud to create seamless in-store and digital shopping experiences. With cloud-native architecture — supported by commercetools and AWS — businesses can reach sky-high ambitions without hassle or high costs.

Blog post: Shopping experiences on cloud nine: 3 prerequisites for retail success powered by commercetools and AWS

With stratospheric adoption rates globally, eCommerce has grown exponentially from 7.4% in 2015 to 18.8% in 2021 — and is predicted to hit 24% in 2026.

Integral to today’s eCommerce success is website speed and performance, as consumers expect a webpage to load in two seconds or less. Beyond desktop-based shopping, the share of mobile-first commerce has reached new heights as 55% of page views come from mobile phones. Omnichannel is also on the rise, as more than half of consumers look at a product online and buy it in-store (and vice-versa) and the usage of 3+ channels increases order rates by 494%

While digital, mobile-first and omnichannel commerce opens opportunities, it also presents new challenges: 

  • How can eCommerce retailers cope with traffic spikes to their webshops? 

  • Why should brick-and-mortar retailers bring their in-store POS to the cloud? 

  • How can brands enable seamless omnichannel journeys? 

Many brands that still rely on monolithic commerce platforms lag behind on cloud-native infrastructure, thus lacking the flexibility, scalability and agility required for their next wave of growth. Here, let’s explore how cloud-native commerce, powered by commercetools and Amazon Web Services (AWS), helps brands address the challenges for seamless CX. 

First things first: What’s cloud-native commerce?

Companies relying on legacy commerce platforms face online capacity limitations when eCommerce spikes occur, translating into slow performance and/or crashes. In traditional on-premise IT, brands pre-provision infrastructure and software to accommodate online traffic peaks — an inefficient process that increases IT spending over time. 

Another common issue many brands face today is the disparate commerce systems used for brick-and-mortar and eCommerce, resulting in clunky communication that hinders seamless experiences across channels. Ultimately, having two distinct systems leads to an inconsistent product, pricing and customer data as well as inaccurate inventory management.

In contrast to on-premise, cloud providers such as AWS perform the heavy lifting of data centre operations so that brands can consume all IT capabilities in the cloud. This also includes the capability for brands to bring their point-of-sale (POS) systems to the cloud, unifying all commercial operations in a single engine for increased efficiencies at lower costs, as companies no longer need to pay licensing fees twice or for additional integrations. 

In a nutshell, with cloud-native infrastructure brands can fulfil these three prerequisites for seamless CX:

#1 - Fast and resilient webshops

Brands know that seasonal campaigns like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Back-to-School drive substantial traffic spikes to their webshops. If capacity fails, the result is often slower page loads or even worse, a site crash. Predictably, consumers ending up in 404 error pages are unlikely to return, translating into missed revenue.  

With cloud-native commerce, brands can scale cloud capacity automatically during online traffic peaks, adjusting resources to handle surges and declines in traffic and demand, and thus eliminating downtime and slowdowns altogether. Also, brands running in the cloud make a  positive impact on website performance, delivering faster page load, improving peak traffic management and mobile responsiveness, and achieving better organic SEO results.

#2 - Omnichannel and mobile-first

The binary world of physical stores and webshops is more fluid nowadays, with multiple touchpoints ranging from social commerce to mobile apps, virtual assistants and augmented/virtual reality now part of the equation. As 73% of consumers use multiple channels along their shopping journey beyond the brick-and-mortar and webshop, it’s essential for retailers to centralise their commerce engine and operate it in the cloud, so consistent data can travel across touchpoints for seamless CX. 

With commercetools and AWS, brands with brick-and-mortar presence can bring their in-store point-of-sale (POS) to the cloud, supporting sales and engagement across all physical and digital touchpoints without missing a beat.

#3 - Experimentation-ready

Cloud-native architecture also enables brands to experiment more freely. Instead of having technical teams running the hardware/software infrastructure and increasing capacity manually, they can focus on building value: Creating touchpoints and features that drive conversion and engagement up. In short, brands running on cloud-native commerce can bring new ideas to market faster and stay ahead of consumers’ demands.

Modernise your commerce with commercetools and AWS

Brands can plug commercetools with AWS Cloud to reap the benefits of cloud-native architecture anytime. For instance, retailers like Moonpig, a greeting card retailer, uses commercetools with AWS Cloud to autoscale traffic capacity — and can now process over 300 orders per minute at peak time. The company has also added new touchpoints, such as augmented reality, providing customers with a more engaging experience.  

The forward plan is where we’re leveraging more cloud infrastructure. We’re moving to a kind of platform as a service and serverless infrastructure where all the instructions are in code and we can spin up new services when needed. We’re not paying for massive data centres when we don’t need them during peaks. And so we now have all of our kinds of legacy architecture on AWS. But we’re going to move into this new architecture to make it faster, more scalable, and more cost-efficient.
Ronan Tighe

CPO, Moonpig

To put it simply, with cloud-native commerce infrastructure powered by commercetools and AWS, brands can craft fast and flawless customer experiences without friction, creating a landscape for future growth and long-term retail success.

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Manuela Tchoe
Manuela Tchoe
Senior Content Writer, commercetools

Manuela Marques Tchoe is a Content Writer at commercetools. She was a Content and Product Marketing Director at conversational commerce provider tyntec. She has written content in partnership with Facebook, Rakuten Viber and other social media platforms.

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